Hypercar Architecture Goes Electric

| Transport

Scalable Battery Module provides the power for the hypercar vehicle platform

Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) has been showcasing an array of electric vehicle innovations with the debut of its electric hypercar architecture

WAE attended the Low Carbon Vehicle Show this autumn to unveil its latest electric vehicle innovation in the shape of an ultra-high performance electric vehicle platform designed to accelerate the ambitions of hypercar manufacturers, from start-ups to OEMs.

With its first public showing at the show, which took place the UK’s Millbrook Proving Ground in September, the new EVR concept enables brands to launch unique high-performance electric vehicles based on a state-of-the-art yet cost-effective platform; combining WAE’s extensive vehicle and powertrain engineering experience in one innovative package.

WAE also used the event to unveil its new Scalable Battery Module (SBM) system as well as the prototype Triumph TE-1 electric motorbike together with the e-powertrain.

The EVR advanced platform

The latest iteration in the range of WAE’s EV platforms, the EVR is focused on the growing electric hypercar sector, with a lightweight composite structure that mounts the high-performance battery system in the middle of the vehicle, optimising the centre of gravity.

The EVR can support a range of electric hypercar configurations, from track-only vehicles where power-to-weight is maximised to roadgoing models, which include both open-roof Targa versions and fixed-roof GT architectures. This is made possible by the architecture’s central tub which has been designed from day one to allow for such flexibility, including open roof design, whilst still featuring the very latest performance technology such as active aerodynamics.

With a state-of-art 85kWh battery and peak power of 1650kW, the EVR enables sub-2.0secs 0-100km/h acceleration and a top speed more than 400kmh (248mph) with a vehicle mass less than 1800kg, along with fast-charging capability of sub-20mins and a range in excess of 450km (279 miles). All-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive layouts are supported through multiple e-motor configurations.

Flexible in application

The EVR’s inherent flexibility and modularity means WAE’s offering to customers is unique. For start-ups, the EVR provides a complete turnkey system, with WAE delivering the entire vehicle, with exterior design support supplied by the customer or a WAE partner.

For OEMs, the EVR accelerates routes to market, with the entire engineering and assembly of the rolling chassis completed by WAE. Capable of being adapted for both the OEM’s design and styling requirements, the EVR reduces time from development to market launch.

Equally, for OEMs and Tier 1s, the EVR provides the opportunity to integrate new products to push the boundaries of electric powertrain technology, with the rolling chassis capable of being continuously developed with WAE’s newest motor and battery technologies.

Engineered for maximum flexibility for customer requirements, both in terms of interior and exterior design, the EVR results in a reduced time to market with class-leading performance, with WAE targeting delivery of a first EVR-based prototype within 12 months from project kick-off to delivery of a first production vehicle in 24 months.

Fuel Cell Alternative

The EVR is also ready for a hydrogen future with an EVR-H fuel cell variant also being developed to deliver the equivalent performance of a pure BEV platform but powered by green H2.

According to Paul McNamara, Williams Advanced Engineering Technical Director, the EVR combines WAE’s exceptional expertise in motorsport-bred lightweight, composite structures and high-performance battery powertrains with its knowledge and experience of developing and delivering electric vehicle programmes.

“It rapidly accelerates high performance electrification offering a turnkey solution for both start-ups and OEMs with an affordable business case, reduced time to market and a highly flexible architecture,” he says.

Scalable Battery Module

Another debut at the low carbon vehicle event was Williams Advanced Engineering’s Scalable Battery Module (SBM). Using WAE’s proprietary ‘Sense Chain’ architecture, the SBM system eliminates the need for any replication of electronics, while enabling independent scaling of voltage and capacity and the realisation of bespoke battery concepts in record time.

Revolutionising rapid and flexible battery development, WAE’s modular toolkit enables automotive customers to create custom pack and sub-pack systems faster than ever, supporting low to medium volume electric vehicle developers across a range of industries. Each module is 1.08kWh with a voltage of 50V Max, 43V Nominal with an energy density of >240Wh/kg.

Rob Millar, Head of Electrical, Williams Advanced Engineering commented “We are delighted to have had the opportunity for showcasing this innovative new technology at the LCV event which offers greater flexibility and speed to market for customers across a wide range of sectors”

Triumph TE-1 – advancing electric motorbikes

Also on display at the event was the Triumph TE-1 prototype bike together with the electric powertrain developed by WAE. A unique collaboration between Triumph Motorcycles, WAE, Integral Powertrain and WMG, University of Warwick, funded by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles through Innovate UK, the TE-1 project was set up to create ground-breaking developments in specialist electric motorcycle engineering and innovative integrated technology design.

WAE’s battery technology delivers ‘real world’ e-motorbike systems with a range of 161 km (99miles), 130 kW of peak power, a weight of just 220kg and a 0-80% charging time of only 20mins.

The live testing phase of the Triumph TE-1 has seen the prototype demonstrator exceed expectations and achieve some incredible outcomes, delivering on all project objectives of accelerating electric motorcycle development and innovation, setting new standards for the sector overall, including final battery and range performance. The expertise and capabilities developed throughout the project now pave the way for the exciting electric future to come from Triumph Motorcycles.

According to Craig Wilson, Williams Advanced Engineering CEO, the company has grown from an embryonic business in 2010 to one which now employs over 500 people engaged in leading-edge and transformative technologies for a growing list of applications, sectors and clients.

“The array of electric vehicle-focused innovations that were shown for the first time at the Low Carbon Vehicle event in September underlines our capabilities in the development of high-performance systems for the rapidly expanding EV market, further underpinning the company’s exciting global industrialisation plans,” he concludes.

Jonathan Newell
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